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Should politics return to Prog music?

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Topic: Should politics return to Prog music?
Posted By: SteveG
Subject: Should politics return to Prog music?
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 13:40


When Marillion released their album titled Sounds That Can't Be Made last year, it contained the controversial track Gaza which addressed one of the long standing Middle Eastern controversies. With more than ten years to reflect on the events of 9/11, two Gulf wars and world wide economic and social divides; would you like to see more of these topics addressed in the lyrics of Prog music songs (even if they are controversial) or should Prog music, with the old political guard with artists such as Zappa, Floyd and KC long faded and mute, remain an escapist or purely aesthetic medium devoid of any social and political commentary?




Replies:
Posted By: KingCrInuYasha
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 14:08
Does Frank Zappa's stuff count?

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He looks at this world and wants it all... so he strikes, like Thunderball!


Posted By: Wanorak
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 14:09
I personally enjoy a good political song ala Forgotten Sons and Gaza. I though Gaza was great because it focused on the effect the Israeli/Palestinian conflict had on ordinary people. I think a lot of times we don't address world problems and just hide our heads in the sand and ignore them. Bravo to Marillion for saying something important with Gaza.

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A GREAT YEAR FOR PROG!!!


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 14:12
Originally posted by KingCrInuYasha KingCrInuYasha wrote:

Does Frank Zappa's stuff count?

Yes, but unfortunately the great man has left the building.


Posted By: Horizons
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 14:20
Obama Prog




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Crushed like a rose in the riverflow.


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 14:27
Originally posted by Horizons Horizons wrote:

Obama Prog
Could the other guy even spell prog?


Posted By: stonebeard
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 14:33
It could work, but most if not all artists lack the combination of humility, talent, and self-awareness to do it without appearing naive or full of themselves. It's either be preachy or embarrassing either way.

And Zappa's stuff was basically American culture satire masquerading as music. Almost a different thing entirely.


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http://soundcloud.com/drewagler" rel="nofollow - My soundcloud. Please give feedback if you want!


Posted By: Prog_Traveller
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 14:37
It would be a crap shoot for the bands and artists because they risk alienating part of their audience and I think most prog bands(unlike most punk bands)aren't willing to do that. Apparently The Flower King's latest album falls along the lines of political commentary but I haven't heard it yet. I'm personally ok with a bit of controversy(ie lyrics that challenge the powers that be).


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 14:38
Originally posted by stonebeard stonebeard wrote:

It could work, but most if not all artists lack the combination of humility, talent, and self-awareness to do it without appearing naive or full of themselves. It's either be preachy or embarrassing either way.And Zappa's stuff was basically American culture satire masquerading as music. Almost a different thing entirely.

I agree with you on all counts. Not all prog bands could pull it off, but enough could. I was a bit tongue-in-cheek about Zappa's views which are not relevant to the discussion.


Posted By: Mind_Drive
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 14:46
as to this state of humanity, politics have exclusively been driven by EGO and thus never where expression of the beauty of SELF. this is a contradiction to harmony per se

im very very annoyed and set up by any politics so i feel atuomaticly discomforted when it shows up somwhere in my magical prog.

for me they both are clearly incompatible!


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It's just a ride... <3


Posted By: Dean
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 14:47
What happens when the politics involved is diametrically opposite to your personal ideology?

If Zappa had been a rabid right-wing tea-bagger would it have made a difference to anyone's appreciation of his music? If Peter Hammill and/or Peter Gabriel had sung songs in honour of P W Botha instead of Steve Biko would we like them as much?


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"You know what uranium is, right?
It’s this thing called nuclear weapons.
And other things.
Like lots of things are done with uranium.
Including some bad things.
But nobody talks about that."


Posted By: rushfan4
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 14:50
Politics abound in Neil Peart's lyrics for Rush.


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Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 14:54
Originally posted by Dean Dean wrote:

What happens when the politics involved is diametrically opposite to your personal ideology?
If Zappa had been a rabid right-wing tea-bagger would it have made a difference to anyone's appreciation of his music? If Peter Hammill and/or Peter Gabriel had sung songs in honour of P W Botha instead of Steve Biko would we like them as much?
Of course, therein lies the rub. I appreciate listening to the argument of opposing views, but I'm firmly in the minority in regard to this.


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 14:57
Originally posted by rushfan4 rushfan4 wrote:

Politics abound in Neil Peart's lyrics for Rush.
Yes, but I would have to say in a more obscure Ayn Rand philosophical way, though.


Posted By: Nogbad_The_Bad
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 14:57
As long as it's left wing and anti religion, I don't think I could listen to Teabagging God Fearing stuff.

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Ian



Anyone who thinks Kansas is Prog get out of the room - Adolf Hitler





Posted By: The Doctor
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 15:00
Lots of politics already in prog. A lot of Neil Peart's and Roger Waters' lyrics are political in nature. Fish has also had quite a few political songs. Hey, even Genesis has thrown the occasional political song at us. I think sometimes politics is fine in a song. And some of them I thoroughly enjoy, others not so much, whether for the political message or for the music itself. The problem is, sometimes, if it's extreme one way or the other, politics can definitely alienate one's potential fan base and so from a financial/mercenary point of view, musicians may want to be careful about how much politics they inject into their music.   

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I can understand your anger at me, but what did the horse I rode in on ever do to you?


Posted By: Toaster Mantis
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 15:11
I don't avoid political lyrics as a matter of principle, being a fan of Frank Zappa and all, it's just that very often when a political ideology becomes integral to the band concept the resulting music suffers artistically as a result. It's more a problem in punk and the national-romantic kind of black metal (e. g. Drudkh), though, than in progressive rock though it is the main thing keeping me away from the "Rock In Opposition" scene.

Really I prefer ideology in music to be more a matter of the music embodying a specific set of more abstract virtues from which the artists' political ideals also are derived, rather than expressing a stance you simply can agree or disagree with. It might not be quite as effective in terms of concrete activism, though, but more likely to get interesting music out of. Zappa could get away with the latter because he usually had the interesting music to back it up with.

To use the examples of punk, it's what separates Amebix from The Exploited.

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"The past is not some static being, it is not a previous present, nor a present that has passed away; the past has its own dynamic being which is constantly renewed and renewing." - Claire Colebrook


Posted By: Mirror Image
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 15:15
I think if a prog band has something to say politically they should say it, but, at risk of alienating listeners, it should be about human rights issues and deal with the corruption that's plagued our governments for so long instead of exclaiming "I'm a libertarian" or "I'm a member of the Labour Party," etc. The political messages should be universal.


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“Music is enough for a lifetime but a lifetime is not enough for music.” - Sergei Rachmaninov


Posted By: rdtprog
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 15:17
The content lyrics in music are one part of the whole thing, if i had to stop listening to every bands that i don't share the social, political or religious message, i would be listening to the same music. This is why i prefer don't care too much about lyrics and concentrate on how they get in harmony with the music. I pay attention to Peart's lyrics a bit more but i wouldn't say that it  add a lot to the listening experience. However sometimes when i hear Neal Morse sings with the word "Jesus", Jon Anderson talk bout "love" and some esoteric message, i just find it funny more than anything else.

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Music is the refuge of souls ulcerated by happiness.

Emile M. Cioran









Posted By: zravkapt
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 15:20
As long as the music moves me I don't give a Censored what the lyrics are about. It is not an accident that most of the music I listen to is either instrumental or sung in a language I don't understand. You got something important to say, write a book.

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Magma America Great Make Again


Posted By: Man With Hat
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 15:40
I prefer instrumental music so no.

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Dig me...But don't...Bury me
I'm running still, I shall until, one day, I hope that I'll arrive
Warning: Listening to jazz excessively can cause a laxative effect.


Posted By: octopus-4
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 15:41
Politics, sex, religion, if it's honest is ok.  

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Curiosity killed a cat, Schroedinger only half.


Posted By: akamaisondufromage
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 15:48
Phil Collins did some heart felt song about homelessness.  Adding, as long as they didn't tax him any more to try and help these losers. 

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Help me I'm falling!


Posted By: zravkapt
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 16:50
Originally posted by akamaisondufromage akamaisondufromage wrote:

Phil Collins did some heart felt song about homelessness.  Adding, as long as they didn't tax him any more to try and help these losers. 


Phil Collins ruined homelessness.


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Magma America Great Make Again


Posted By: The Doctor
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 16:53
Originally posted by zravkapt zravkapt wrote:


Originally posted by akamaisondufromage akamaisondufromage wrote:

Phil Collins did some heart felt song about homelessness.  Adding, as long as they didn't tax him any more to try and help these losers. 

Phil Collins ruined homelessness.


Yep. It used to be so cool to live out in the elements, exposed to criminals and wild animals, hunger, lack of medical care, lack of personal hygiene. And then Phil went and took all the fun out of it.

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I can understand your anger at me, but what did the horse I rode in on ever do to you?


Posted By: Mind_Drive
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 19:10
LOLLOLBig smileLOLLOLClap

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It's just a ride... <3


Posted By: Progosopher
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 19:10
People have always written songs about politics, Prog is no exception. What do you mean by politics?

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The world of sound is certainly capable of infinite variety and, were our sense developed, of infinite extensions. -- George Santayana, "The Sense of Beauty"


Posted By: siLLy puPPy
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 19:37
Originally posted by zravkapt zravkapt wrote:

As long as the music moves me I don't give a Censored what the lyrics are about. It is not an accident that most of the music I listen to is either instrumental or sung in a language I don't understand. You got something important to say, write a book.


Haha! I totally agree however a album with brilliantly written lyrics are definately a plus. Just not required


Posted By: Mind_Drive
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 19:38
c´mon i mean hey, politics are so 3 dimensional, rational and fear-driven..

let´s stick to the fairytales they´re much more real and closer to truth Heart
Tongue


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It's just a ride... <3


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 19:48











[QUOTE from Progosopher]People have always written songs about politics, Prog is no exception. What do you mean by politics?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Roman Emperor Tiberius once stated "It dosen't matter what I think politics means. It only matters as to what the people think politics means!" Perhaps you should reflect on this statement o' philosopher. It might help you in your long search for the truth. Wink











Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: June 16 2014 at 22:09
Originally posted by Nogbad_The_Bad Nogbad_The_Bad wrote:

As long as it's left wing and anti religion, I don't think I could listen to Teabagging God Fearing stuff.


Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

...or should Prog music remain an escapist or purely aesthetic medium devoid of any social and political commentary?

Escapism is sometimes a great vehicle for metaphor, political or otherwise. It's also very effective in avoiding biases that listeners may bring with them. Who brings any personal prejudices to Get 'Em Out By Friday ??


Posted By: ExittheLemming
Date Posted: June 17 2014 at 03:15
If we disregard the ramifications of digital media and the internet with regards marketing, distribution and sales (yes I know, it's a huge askPinch) was there any other industry in the developed world hitherto that epitomized the wet dream of capitalism so perfectly as the music industry? It always makes me smile to listen to terminally 'right on' luvvies like Weller, Strummer, Costello, Waters, Wyatt, Bragg et al rail against a system that if dismantled would return them to the obscurity and poverty they strove so hard to escape and profess to abhor while sealing their mouthpiece for lucrative dissent forever. If musicians were credibly serious about having a politicised agenda, they might stand for election, write manifestos rather than triple concept albums, do volunteer charity work or join one of the main political parties as a foot-soldier. Yes, they can compose a soundtrack to their activities by all means but such ain't a substitute for action. Politics is action, activism, doing stuff, really un-sexy, unglamorous, exhausting, tedious door to door drudgery and sometimes dangerous sh*t, not what we're doing here (myself included and just as guilty) - sitting around talking, doing squat.

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Posted By: Atavachron
Date Posted: June 17 2014 at 03:44
^ That begs an interesting point about experience and its importance to writing, whether lyrics or prose.   If you don't live it, there won't be much to write about.   It's why I think guys like Hemingway dove into the abyss; it wasn't macho, he needed material.



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"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."   -- John F. Kennedy


Posted By: thwok
Date Posted: June 17 2014 at 09:37
I'm not usually a political person. However, I am in favor of the least amount of government interference as humanly possible. I guess you could call me a traditional conservative. Thank God that our constitutional rights allow us to create art about anything we want to. I think people should write music about anything that moves them.

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I am the funkiest man on the planet!


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: June 17 2014 at 09:55
Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

When Marillion released their album titled Sounds That Can't Be Made last year, it contained the controversial track Gaza which addressed one of the long standing Middle Eastern controversies. With more than ten years to reflect on the events of 9/11, two Gulf wars and world wide economic and social divides; would you like to see more of these topics addressed in the lyrics of Prog music songs (even if they are controversial) or should Prog music remain an escapist or purely aesthetic medium devoid of any social and political commentary?
 
There is not a whole lot more political commentary than 21st Century Schizoid Man!
 
And PG, in "Selling England by the Pound" took his shots at the PM ... !!!
 
Politics, in many ways, is one of the biggest front runners of a revolution and idealism that helps create a lot of art, and that includes music. If you look at the history of art (painting) it even has a "Nationalistic" section under "Romantic Art" in the 1800's.
 
It all depends on how well/much we want to learn from it. The French Revolution is known to have helped hugely with the development of Gothic Literature, though it had its start a bit earlier with Horace Walpole, but the blood running in the streets of Paris appears to have been heard much further around the world, no to mention its arts, specially literature.
 
So, to your answer, yeah ... without it, I think that a lot of us would find things rather mundane and spirit-less and not worth fighting for. I imagine that these have to be "universal" themes (I hate using academic terms!!!!!), so that we all can see it and such!


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... none of the hits, none of the time ... now you know what the art is all about!
www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: June 17 2014 at 09:55
Originally posted by KingCrInuYasha KingCrInuYasha wrote:

Does Frank Zappa's stuff count?
 
No kidding!


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... none of the hits, none of the time ... now you know what the art is all about!
www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: June 17 2014 at 10:04
Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

 ...
I agree with you on all counts. Not all prog bands could pull it off, but enough could. I was a bit tongue-in-cheek about Zappa's views which are not relevant to the discussion.
 
Considering the guy even went to Washington DC, and you can see it on the tube ... that's a rather strange observation. Frank was not the politically correct hippocrit of an artist today, and was pretty straight forward with his opinions, many times, not just once.
 
But we love Overnight Sensation, not anything else!


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... none of the hits, none of the time ... now you know what the art is all about!
www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: Svetonio
Date Posted: June 17 2014 at 10:12

The Knife is a great political song, a beautiful satire. So, political songs in the progressive rock, why not?

After all, in prog, as any other art form aswell,  the most impotartant thing is not "what" - it's a matter of "how".


Posted By: dr wu23
Date Posted: June 17 2014 at 10:14
So who's going to add the politics to prog music?    Confused
If the artist wants to add some political lyrics...they will. Personally as long as the music is good and the lyrics not too silly I don't care what the 'politics' are or if they are opposite to mine.
 
 
 
Cream had something to say on this:Wink
 
 
 


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One does nothing yet nothing is left undone.
Haquin


Posted By: Gully Foyle
Date Posted: June 17 2014 at 11:06
Originally posted by Nogbad_The_Bad Nogbad_The_Bad wrote:

As long as it's left wing and anti religion, I don't think I could listen to Teabagging God Fearing stuff.


Truer words have never been said...for me at least...I can't even deal with Neal Morse...

There are some other examples...3rd Degree's The Long Division springs to mind, as does GG's The Power and The Glory, Tull's Under Wraps (more geopolitics than 'political'), plenty of Floyd...

There is a difference between writng and singing about politics, or philosophy, and being 'political'

I doubt I would appreciate a 6-part epic on how cutting taxes creates growth (to fit in with the 'high fantasy' aspect of some prog), but a study in political corruption or personal political journeys might be of interest


Posted By: The Doctor
Date Posted: June 17 2014 at 11:38
Originally posted by Gully Foyle Gully Foyle wrote:


I doubt I would appreciate a 6-part epic on how cutting taxes creates growth (to fit in with the 'high fantasy' aspect of some prog)


I think that's the theme of the next Magma trilogy. I can deal with most political lyrics, no matter where they fall. They don't have to be left-wing for me to enjoy it (I enjoy many of Rush's lyrics for example). Nor do I only like anti-religious lyrics (although I agree with the comment about Neal Morse - his are too over-the-top preachy religious), but Yes, The Flower Kings, Iona, etc. all have spiritual themes in their lyrics which in no way offend me.

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I can understand your anger at me, but what did the horse I rode in on ever do to you?


Posted By: Archeus
Date Posted: June 17 2014 at 12:10
Originally posted by Wanorak Wanorak wrote:

I personally enjoy a good political song ala Forgotten Sons and Gaza. I though Gaza was great because it focused on the effect the Israeli/Palestinian conflict had on ordinary people. I think a lot of times we don't address world problems and just hide our heads in the sand and ignore them. Bravo to Marillion for saying something important with Gaza.


Indeed. Music can be an excellent medium for sociopolitical commentary when it's done right. Political songs can fall flat sometimes though... Dream Theater's "The Great Debate" is the perfect example of politics in prog gone horribly wrong. I still cringe every time I listen to it.


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What about dogs? What about cats? What about chickens?


Posted By: refugee
Date Posted: June 17 2014 at 12:20
Originally posted by Dean Dean wrote:

If Peter Hammill and/or Peter Gabriel had sung songs in honour of P W Botha instead of Steve Biko would we like them as much?

No, we wouldn’t. Because they wouldn’t be Gabriel or Hammill if they did.

I remember that Hammill once said he didn’t think a song was the right medium for politics. He preferred to discuss philosophical thoughts in his lyrics instead. Even so, he made A Motorbike in Africa (about apartheid) and, much later, Every Bloody Emperor (about the Western invasion of Iraq, written just before it happened). Especially the last one is a favourite of mine, and today we can see the consequences (not of the song but the invasion) with ISIL taking control in the area.



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He say nothing is quite what it seems;
I say nothing is nothing
(Peter Hammill)


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: June 17 2014 at 13:34
Originally posted by moshkito moshkito wrote:

Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:


 ...I agree with you on all counts. Not all prog bands could pull it off, but enough could. I was a bit tongue-in-cheek about Zappa's views which are not relevant to the discussion.

 

Considering the guy even went to Washington DC, and you can see it on the tube ... that's a rather strange observation. Frank was not the politically correct hippocrit of an artist today, and was pretty straight forward with his opinions, many times, not just once.

 

But we love Overnight Sensation, not anything else!
Zappa's political views will always be relevant (regardless if you agree with them or not). But since he can no longer voice new political views in music, I feel that removes him from the topic of the discussion. My apologies for being vague.


Posted By: akamaisondufromage
Date Posted: June 17 2014 at 13:38
As Daevid Allen says 'Rock n' Roll is - Opium for the People' 

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Help me I'm falling!


Posted By: The T
Date Posted: June 17 2014 at 13:51
I would prefer prog music, specifically avant-garde metal, added to politics instead. 

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Posted By: *frinspar*
Date Posted: June 17 2014 at 15:37
After I heard "Beelzebubba" from James LaBrie's Mullmuzzler project, I couldn't take the man seriously anymore. He became a cartoon to me. Not because of what he was saying, it was just such a stupid and childish piece of hateful writing. And, the trombone made it even more ridiculous. There's a reason many don't care about prog lyrics, and it's because a lot of good bands write them very badly. LOL

I don't have issues with general political themes being explored in music. I did, and still do, find Zappa to be both funny as hell and kind of uncomfortably embarrassing, depending on how far he went with his humiliation lyrics. Sometimes it was just hateful, instead of pointed.

Can't say I've heard much that's very specific in its meaning, or representing any ideology. I think I'd prefer not to. Music is an escape for me. And politics used to get me pretty worked up. I've given up trying to figure out who the "good guys" are (to me) anymore and just keep my head down and out of it. So, I guess what I'm saying is that I'd like to keep those two things separated as much as I can. Smile




Posted By: ProgMetaller2112
Date Posted: June 17 2014 at 23:01
Yes I would prefer that

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“War is peace.

Freedom is slavery.

Ignorance is strength.”

― George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four



"Ignorance and Prejudice and Fear walk Hand in Hand"- Neil Peart





Posted By: notesworth
Date Posted: June 18 2014 at 22:57
I'd say no. In the US, everything's split between the Conservative Camp and the Liberal Camp. Almost any choice somebody makes puts them in one camp or the other. We don't need either camp to claim genres of music. They've already claimed TV shows (Duck Dynasty), grocery stores (Whole Foods), restaurants (Chick-Fil-A), etc.

People can write about whatever they want to write about, including political issues. I just don't want to see one of the political camps annex a genre of music.

Also, I'm sick of people equating Christianity with conservatives/Republicans, but that's another issue completely.


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: June 19 2014 at 00:45
Originally posted by notesworth notesworth wrote:


Also, I'm sick of people equating Christianity with conservatives/Republicans, but that's another issue completely.

its pretty much the opposite here


Posted By: Tom Ozric
Date Posted: June 19 2014 at 01:53
I haven't read all the posts regarding this topic, but I know Henry Cow, Chris Cutler and Co. added a lot of political views within their music. Even Vander and his Kobaian philosophies include a degree of politics.


Posted By: Slartibartfast
Date Posted: June 19 2014 at 03:32
I love Zappa's political songs, he went after hypocrisy on both sides.  Did he pick on one side more often?  Yes.  He never embraced false equivalency and I think that's what offends a few around here.  They can't handle it so they are dismissive of it.  He wasn't afraid to call particular people or kinds of people out.  His criticisms were always spot on.  If Zappa had been around during the W regime, I'm pretty sure he would have done some scathing songs.  He would have also probably done stuff critical of B and O, but it would have been fair unlike these relentless idiotic attacks that are coming from the opposition.

I also find Gentle Giant's The Power And The Glory to be one of my favorite political prog albums.  It has a timeless quality because it speaks truth to power without naming names.

In the in end politics in prog music is fine for as long as the music is good.

On a side note, I find the title a this thread a little amusing -

Would you like to see politics added to Prog Music

I think many of us have made the point that it is already there...Confused



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Posted By: Tom Ozric
Date Posted: June 19 2014 at 04:04
Indeed, Zappa had his say for sure.
Kraut rockers 'Floh de Cologne' used politics as a basis for their musical expressions too, although it's pretty much lost on non-German speaking folks.......(the music is great.....)


Posted By: Hercules
Date Posted: June 19 2014 at 04:20
I would welcome political messages in the lyrics.

The obsession of humankind with money, to the extent that the desecration of our planet is secondary to acquiring personal/corporate wealth and the consequent prosecution of military action in support of economic aims (Iraq!) is something that angers me beyond belief. I think that such issues have been the subject of prog lyrics before, have they not?

I suppose being an environmentalist and a traditional Liberal (not the rabid, right wing "do whatever you want and **** everyone else type) informs my viewpoint.

But anyone who pushes a Tea Party standpoint can leave the planet for me.


Posted By: ExittheLemming
Date Posted: June 19 2014 at 08:26
Originally posted by Hercules Hercules wrote:

I would welcome political messages in the lyrics.

But anyone who pushes a Tea Party standpoint can leave the planet for me.


Would you therefore only permit songs that had a political orientation you agree with? You can see where I'm going with this I'm sure.... i.e. would your forced repatriation of right wingers to say, Uranus be deemed any less intolerant that their forced repatriation of left wingers to say, the Red Planet?Wink



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Posted By: The T
Date Posted: June 19 2014 at 08:48
^To be honest, and much as I love freedom of expression, Tea Party prog lyrics would definitely invite invitation to go to Uranus, or Theiranus, or whichever Anus we can find that can tolerate their bigotry any more than it can an enema. 

And Texas prog can join them too. 


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Posted By: The Doctor
Date Posted: June 19 2014 at 08:58
C'mon T, you wouldn't listen to an album with catchy song titles like "I Hate Taxes" and the side-long "Obamacare is the Work of the Devil"?

Speaking of repatriation to another planet, I've been hoping to be repatriated since my youth, to no avail. Guess I need to join the Tea Party to get that honor.   

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I can understand your anger at me, but what did the horse I rode in on ever do to you?


Posted By: The T
Date Posted: June 19 2014 at 09:07
I just noticed that "Taxes" and "Texas" share the same words. This surely means something. And I hope Jon Anderson can exploit it in a song about rainbow-colored rhinos 

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Posted By: ExittheLemming
Date Posted: June 19 2014 at 09:15
^ Somewhere Over the Texas Rhino Taxes Way Up High (Man)


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Posted By: The T
Date Posted: June 19 2014 at 09:24
 




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Posted By: Evolver
Date Posted: June 19 2014 at 10:16
http://www.progarchives.com/album.asp?id=38167" rel="nofollow - http://www.progarchives.com/album.asp?id=38167
3rd Degree "The Long Division"
 
Excellent political prog, relevant to the last US Presidential election.
Spears both left and right for rampant hypocrisy.
 


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Trust me. I know what I'm doing.


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: June 19 2014 at 11:07







Originally posted by Slartibartfast Slartibartfast wrote:


I love Zappa's political songs, he went after hypocrisy on both sides.  Did he pick on one side more often?  Yes.  He never embraced false equivalency and I think that's what offends a few around here.  They can't handle it so they are dismissive of it.  He wasn't afraid to call particular people or kinds of people out.  His criticisms were always spot on.  If Zappa had been around during the W regime, I'm pretty sure he would have done some scathing songs.  He would have also probably done stuff critical of B and O, but it would have been fair unlike these relentless idiotic attacks that are coming from the opposition. I also find Gentle Giant's The Power And The Glory to be one of my favorite political prog albums.  It has a timeless quality because it speaks truth to power without naming names.In the in end politics in prog music is fine for as long as the music is good.On a side note, I find the title a this thread a little amusing - <h1>Would you like to see politics added to Prog Music</h1>

I think many of us have made the point that it is already there...Confused


I felt that it might be insulting to the members that realise that artists like  Zappa, Gentle Giant, Floyd, KC, etc. stopped producing politically relevant music some time ago or are defunct and that few  have taken their places (which prompted me to post the thread) and include that information in the posting, but I guess that it has to be done for the many who do not.







Posted By: Gully Foyle
Date Posted: June 19 2014 at 14:20
Originally posted by Evolver Evolver wrote:

http://www.progarchives.com/album.asp?id=38167" rel="nofollow - http://www.progarchives.com/album.asp?id=38167
3rd Degree "The Long Division"
 
Excellent political prog, relevant to the last US Presidential election.
Spears both left and right for rampant hypocrisy.
 

I agree that it is excellent, though i think they make the same error some others do as regards the extremes of left and right in the US.  There are people on both extremes, but there is a real difference between left and right: on the right many extremists hold national political office, whereas on the left the extremists are locked out of office and spend more time in drum circles.


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: June 19 2014 at 17:16
Originally posted by notesworth notesworth wrote:

I'd say no. In the US, everything's split between the Conservative Camp and the Liberal Camp. Almost any choice somebody makes puts them in one camp or the other. We don't need either camp to claim genres of music. They've already claimed TV shows (Duck Dynasty), grocery stores (Whole Foods), restaurants (Chick-Fil-A), etc.

People can write about whatever they want to write about, including political issues. I just don't want to see one of the political camps annex a genre of music.

Also, I'm sick of people equating Christianity with conservatives/Republicans, but that's another issue completely.
I understand your feelings regarding domestic issues but how about world events? Or does that get filed under Not Interrested? LOL


Posted By: twosteves
Date Posted: June 19 2014 at 22:13
Yours is no Disgrace is the best political song---Don't Kill the Whale---sort of okay.Smile


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: June 20 2014 at 01:29
Originally posted by twosteves twosteves wrote:

Yours is no Disgrace is the best political song---Don't Kill the Whale---sort of okay.Smile

I wouldn't consider that a political song. Also anti-war songs don't count either. Its like saying 'Pizza is tasty'.

I think a political song should get some reaction. I can think of a couple that were regarded as thinly veiled attacks on the USA 
IQ - Harvest Of Souls
Muse - Take A Bow

both good ones as wellTongue


Posted By: *frinspar*
Date Posted: June 20 2014 at 01:52
I don't like the idea of a concerted effort to change, and especially not a fan-driven shove, to coerce bands into saying things they didn't already want to say.
Prog is basically about natural progression, yeah?

Coincidentally, if some are not finding their needs met by the music they hear, maybe they should fill that void on their own. Much like the reason many politicians give when asked why they're running for a particular office. Wink


Posted By: ExittheLemming
Date Posted: June 20 2014 at 08:46
Anyone who thinks that Prog musicians have remained faithful to their political allegiances while operating from within the music industry is surely credulous enough to believe that an antelope would vote for a lion. Ermm

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Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: June 20 2014 at 09:10
Originally posted by ExittheLemming ExittheLemming wrote:

Anyone who thinks that Prog musicians have remained faithful to their political allegiances while operating from within the music industry is surely credulous enough to believe that an antelope would vote for a lion. Ermm
Iain, it could be argued that a "cult based" artist like Zappa did not worry about record sales or at least what his record company thought. Isn't much of modern prog music "cult based"? For one example, they release recordings and downloads on their own private labels now.


Posted By: ExittheLemming
Date Posted: June 20 2014 at 09:24
Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

Originally posted by ExittheLemming ExittheLemming wrote:

Anyone who thinks that Prog musicians have remained faithful to their political allegiances while operating from within the music industry is surely credulous enough to believe that an antelope would vote for a lion. Ermm
Iain, it could be argued that a "cult based" artist like Zappa did not worry about record sales. Isn't much of modern prog music "cult based"?



The only artists that need to worry about record sales are those who don't make sufficient to make their art viable. If you are self employed you can only afford to take a finite amount of losses. For me, as much as i adore some of Zappa's ourput, he actualy embodies the first world capitalistic entrepreneurial 'American Dream' that his political allegiances might have suggested he proffered to abhor? Don't get me wrong, I'm glad his music is available to buy but if it didn't sell sufficient units it would either be abandoned completely or be entirely at the mercy of state controlled art subsidy (like much contemporary classical music)


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Posted By: Metalmarsh89
Date Posted: June 20 2014 at 09:31
I would prefer music about politics over music about sex, drugs, alcohol, and women (or men). Still, lyrics don't usually ruin a song for me. Someone mentioned 'The Great Debate' from Dream Theater. Prime example. Whatever message they seemed to try to convey there fell flat, but I do like the song. On the other hand, their religion-themed songs turned out much better. Blind Faith, In the Name of God, Sacrificed Sons (though a bit bland lyrically) are definitely some of my favorites from them.

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Want to play mafia? Visit http://www.mafiathesyndicate.com" rel="nofollow - here .


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: June 20 2014 at 09:38
Originally posted by ExittheLemming ExittheLemming wrote:

Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

Originally posted by ExittheLemming ExittheLemming wrote:

Anyone who thinks that Prog musicians have remained faithful to their political allegiances while operating from within the music industry is surely credulous enough to believe that an antelope would vote for a lion. Ermm
Iain, it could be argued that a "cult based" artist like Zappa did not worry about record sales. Isn't much of modern prog music "cult based"?



The only artists that need to worry about record sales are those who don't make sufficient to make their art viable. If you are self employed you can only afford to take a finite amount of losses. For me, as much as i adore some of Zappa's ourput, he actualy embodies the first world capitalistic entrepreneurial 'American Dream' that his political allegiances might have suggested he proffered to abhor? Don't get me wrong, I'm glad his music is available to buy but if it didn't sell sufficient units it would either be abandoned completely or be entirely at the mercy of state controlled art subsidy (like much contemporary classical music)
Glad to see you expand on your original statement. It gives one more to think about. Particularly in regard to some artists being hypocritical.


Posted By: chopper
Date Posted: June 20 2014 at 09:59
Originally posted by twosteves twosteves wrote:

Yours is no Disgrace is the best political song---Don't Kill the Whale---sort of okay.Smile
I've yet to work out the political significance of a purple wolfhound.


Posted By: ExittheLemming
Date Posted: June 20 2014 at 10:02
Originally posted by Metalmarsh89 Metalmarsh89 wrote:

I would prefer music about politics over music about sex, drugs, alcohol, and women (or men). Still, lyrics don't usually ruin a song for me. Someone mentioned 'The Great Debate' from Dream Theater. Prime example. Whatever message they seemed to try to convey there fell flat, but I do like the song. On the other hand, their religion-themed songs turned out much better. Blind Faith, In the Name of God, Sacrificed Sons (though a bit bland lyrically) are definitely some of my favorites from them.


I'm puzzled as to what you actually thinks constitutes 'politics' i.e your post indicates that' you would prefer a level  playing field freed  from the constraints of sexual attraction and altered mental states facilitated by external stimulants/'depressants. i think the notion that neutrality v subjectivity as espoused by  something as delusional as say, 'straight edge' might actually offer some sort of solipsistic perspective as to the value of abstinence.Then again, you might think that sobriety offers alternative perspectives.


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Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: June 20 2014 at 10:03
Originally posted by chopper chopper wrote:

Originally posted by twosteves twosteves wrote:

Yours is no Disgrace is the best political song---Don't Kill the Whale---sort of okay.Smile
I've yet to work out the political significance of a purple wolfhound.
It's very similiar to a Yellow Matter Custard. Trust me.


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: June 20 2014 at 10:16
Originally posted by ExittheLemming ExittheLemming wrote:

Originally posted by Metalmarsh89 Metalmarsh89 wrote:

I would prefer music about politics over music about sex, drugs, alcohol, and women (or men). Still, lyrics don't usually ruin a song for me. Someone mentioned 'The Great Debate' from Dream Theater. Prime example. Whatever message they seemed to try to convey there fell flat, but I do like the song. On the other hand, their religion-themed songs turned out much better. Blind Faith, In the Name of God, Sacrificed Sons (though a bit bland lyrically) are definitely some of my favorites from them.


I'm puzzled as to what you actually thinks constitutes 'politics' i.e your post indicates that' you would prefer a level  playing field freed  from the constraints of sexual attraction and altered mental states facilitated by external stimulants/'depressants. i think the notion that neutrality v subjectivity as espoused by  something as delusional as say, 'straight edge' might actually offer some sort of solipsistic perspective as to the value of abstinence.Then again, you might think that sobriety offers alternative perspectives.
I think the OP might fall into the same trap that we all do at times of divorcing politics in the mind from sex, work relationships and the like and concentrate only on government issues, rights issues, religion, etc. or not realise that they are intrinsically related to some degree.


Posted By: TGM: Orb
Date Posted: June 20 2014 at 12:03
Unlike folk music prog doesn't really have an illustrious history of engaging with actual politics in a mature and serious way (c.f. punk which knows it stands for something but isn't quite sure what it is). Peart, like many libertarians, seems to write in an abstract universe safe from the buffeting of real events. Zappa's ever-regressing sense of humour undercut his satirical edge. The British bands of the 70s basically avoided political engagement so as not to get slammed for their perceived poshness, and the hints of engagement they offered don't really stand up to scrutiny.

As serious political prog goes - Art Bears' 'The World As It Is Today' is a substantial piece of intelligent communist savagery underneath Fred Frith's multi-instrumental reign of terror. Roy Harper's expansive work in the prog folk arena, such as McGoohan's Blues, The Lord's Prayer or the much later Burn The World and Rushing Camelot illustrate his rather peculiar blend of spirituality and politics. I think Genesis' Selling England and the rather visionary Get 'Em Out By Friday have that political tint but it's abstract/sci-fi rather than direct engagement. Roger Waters' real foray into politics comes with (in my view rather touching) The Final Cut sort of after Pink Floyd's real supremacy as a prog band fizzles out and it becomes more of a singer-songwriter affair.

Suppose what i'm trying to suggest is that prog has never really had more than a passing interest in actual politics (as opposed to social commentary, which is related but not really the same) unless you go out into the more independent art rock/RIO scene. Serious political prog would delight me, if only for its novelty, but I might be alone in that.

As long as it's not just wishy washy banalities that everyone agrees with anyway. I want some ridiculous unsupportable political views in there.


Posted By: Gully Foyle
Date Posted: June 20 2014 at 12:26
Originally posted by notesworth notesworth wrote:

I'd say no. In the US, everything's split between the Conservative Camp and the Liberal Camp. Almost any choice somebody makes puts them in one camp or the other. We don't need either camp to claim genres of music. They've already claimed TV shows (Duck Dynasty), grocery stores (Whole Foods), restaurants (Chick-Fil-A), etc.

People can write about whatever they want to write about, including political issues. I just don't want to see one of the political camps annex a genre of music.

Also, I'm sick of people equating Christianity with conservatives/Republicans, but that's another issue completely.

in re: Whole Foods, i wonder which 'side' you are putting them on?  The majority/owner CEO of Whole Foods is kind of a nutbag, with a whole 'Obama is like Hitler' thing going on...so while the people who shop there might be liberals, its more because of where their stores are, since the company is itself in the very extreme reality-free right wing (as opposed to the reality-based right wing, which i still think exists somewhere)

it wasn't just people who decided to try and equate christianity and republicans, it was the republican party who decided to push for that, and people went along, much to the detriment of christians and republicans...

i'd like to see more historical political prog...concept album about the american whig party and its downfall, or the Reform Bill of 1832 in parliament...keep prog obscure!


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: June 20 2014 at 13:32
Originally posted by akamaisondufromage akamaisondufromage wrote:

As Daevid Allen says 'Rock n' Roll is - Opium for the People' 
 
Where you can forget everything and go through like in a stupor and not understanding and knowing anything.
 
Enjoy the dope!
 
Tongue
 
And that is the part that is hard to deal with. Some folks think that a mindless song about nothing is more important than a song about politics, or philosophy or medicine or whatever.
 
I think that we're all looking for different grains of sand in the beach, and as such, we will not only NOT get anywhere, it will be impossible for anyone to agree on anything!
 
Confused
 
There are other subtleties in various pieces that are not readily discussed.
 
1. AD2 - Made fun of Adolf Hitler twice - both in satirical moments
 
2. Guru Guru - Maybe you should take a look at the last song in "Tango Fango" ... and realize that politics here are not a bunch of words that sound stupid. They can also be a fun song that unites people, instead of separating them!


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... none of the hits, none of the time ... now you know what the art is all about!
www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: June 20 2014 at 13:43
Originally posted by moshkito moshkito wrote:

Originally posted by akamaisondufromage akamaisondufromage wrote:

As Daevid Allen says 'Rock n' Roll is - Opium for the People' 


 
Where you can forget everything and go through like in a stupor and not understanding and knowing anything.

 

Enjoy the dope!

 

Tongue

 

And that is the part that is hard to deal with. Some folks think that a mindless song about nothing is more important than a song about politics, or philosophy or medicine or whatever.

 

I think that we're all looking for different grains of sand in the beach, and as such, we will not only NOT get anywhere, it will be impossible for anyone to agree on anything!

 

Confused
It may be a valid opinion but it maybe only your opinion. We cannot force Prog music to become more political with these discussions but perhaps we can learn something about the other members of the Prog fan community. It may not seem like a great accomplishment at the moment but perhaps it will in time. Keep the faith.


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: June 20 2014 at 13:56
Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

It may be a valid opinion but it maybe only your opinion. We cannot force Prog music to become more political with these discussions but perhaps we can learn something about the other members of the Prog fan community. It may not seem like a great accomplishment at the moment but perhaps it will in time. Keep the faith.
 
Goodness ... aren't you the boss of all opinions!


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... none of the hits, none of the time ... now you know what the art is all about!
www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: June 20 2014 at 13:59
Originally posted by moshkito moshkito wrote:

Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:


It may be a valid opinion but it maybe only your opinion. We cannot force Prog music to become more political with these discussions but perhaps we can learn something about the other members of the Prog fan community. It may not seem like a great accomplishment at the moment but perhaps it will in time. Keep the faith.

 

Goodness ... aren't you the boss of all opinions!
I thought Hitler and the Guru were!!


Posted By: freyacat
Date Posted: June 20 2014 at 22:56
Since 9/11, the Flower Kings have engaged the political world with their music on every album. "Unfold the Future" was a profound, spiritual plea for the world to shift course away from the "clash of civilizations" narrative. They just don't hit you over the head with it and say, "George W. Bush is an idiot." They have bigger fish to fry.

"The truth will set you free. We will stand up to the lie.
With this heart, bigger than America
We will fight fire with fire, no more (Judas) kiss will seal the lie"


I think that people wishing for apolitical music are perhaps not very aware of the political dimensions of even the little things in life. Wherever you have people expressing something, it's politics. Don't feel so threatened by it. It's just the birth pangs of humanity's dreams taking shape.

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sad creature nailed upon the coloured door of time


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: June 20 2014 at 23:16
Whatever the subject matter is I can handle it. A lot of political jargon in an album can really backfire, but if you can fit into a beautiful audio groove than you'll always get my attention.
And yeah, even though it was a personal emotional diatribe for losing his father to the war, Roger Waters summed up his thoughts very well in The Final Cut. Not the best album sonically but lyric wise? Well, I think it's very well done.

I can't tell you how many times I have said to people, "Hey, get your filthy hands of my desert!!"


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Raving and drooling I leaned on his neck with a screeeeeeeamm! ;)


Posted By: iluvmarillion
Date Posted: June 23 2014 at 06:23
I'm on the politically conservative side of politics, but it's never prevented me enjoying the films of Jean Luc Goddard, so why should it prevent me enjoying good Prog music?


Posted By: Tanner
Date Posted: June 23 2014 at 09:52
I never cared about political subject in music. There's always been so much leftist ideas in music and many leftist artist in the music industry. I hate the left wing movement (I hate the right too actually, but at least they have a strong sense of nationalism), but hearing a socialism idea in my music has never been a let down to me.

So I don't care, that's it.   


Posted By: ProgSword
Date Posted: June 23 2014 at 15:46
Only if it's well done. I really enjoyed Dream Theater's The Great Debate, and no one can deny the edginess of 21st Century Schizoid Man. Sometimes you get some real duds though, as if the politics are an afterthought (I'm looking at you The Mars Volta). Someone like Zappa though; the politics are up front and center, and it's perfect.


Posted By: twosteves
Date Posted: June 23 2014 at 15:54
Originally posted by chopper chopper wrote:

Originally posted by twosteves twosteves wrote:

Yours is no Disgrace is the best political song---Don't Kill the Whale---sort of okay.Smile
I've yet to work out the political significance of a purple wolfhound.

Like most good political songs--Yours is no disgrace--doesn't hit you over the head with it's politics and like all Anderson, lyrics weird---but I know it was their anti-Vietnam war song---and what was cool about it---"silly human race" ---"on a sailing ship to nowhere..if the summer change to winter...." It didn't attack the soldiers (some anti-war songs did) but showed them as victims in their own right. Great political song. Generally speaking not into some song writer preaching to me about the world.



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